Breaking The Habit: Bad Posture
We are painfully aware of some bad habits- like smoking or making poor food choices. These ones can’t be ignored, and are the result of conscious decisions on our parts. Some habits, though, form without us even realizing it and take some extra care to nip in the bud.
Sitting at your desk day in and day out, slumped over on the couch watching television, even bad form while exercising are all ways that we unknowingly develop bad posture. Some negative effects of this habit are easy to identify– muscle pain and a hunched back can form over time, as well as it being generally unattractive. However, there are many less obvious ways you’re hurting your body through your sloppy stance.
1. Poor digestion: Hunched shoulders and poor posture cause the rest of your body to be bent in an unnatural way, including your intestines. The way you carry yourself can either help your digestive system run smoothly or stop it in its tracks. Straightening up can ensure that your body is digesting efficiently.
2. Headaches: Slouching and leaning one’s head forward often causes the body to instinctively clench the jaw and tighten your facial muscles, which can often cause headaches. If you suffer from chronic headaches, pay more attention to your posture and make conscious efforts to straighten up.
3. Breathing troubles: A hunched posture can cause your lung capacity to drop by 30%. As a result, your tissues, heart and brain are receiving less oxygen, making your thoughts unfocused and your breathing irregular. Over time, poor posture will contribute to heart disease.
4. Mood: Harvard released a study stating that good posture causes an increase in cortisol levels, a hormone which regulates stress and mood. If you’ve adopted bad posture as a habit you’re more likely to feel overwhelmed from stress and depressed throughout the day!
You may not have the enviable posture of a yogi or ballerina, but simply holding your head high and throwing your shoulders back can have a massive effect on your physical and psychological health!
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